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I think Gougéres –or cheese puffs to us Anglophones– are my favorite cocktail snack.  There’s really nothing better with a glass of Champagne.  But they’re best eaten warm from the oven, and ordinarily the last thing I need as I’m pulling together dinner is a last-minute baking project.  Fortunately, almost all of the (pretty manageable) work of making these delicious morsels can be done anytime:  you can make, form and freeze the balls of dough in advance and bake them straight from the freezer as your guests arrive.  Here’s a brief video to show you how.  The recipe follows.

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Decorating with Potted Flowers

Friday, April 3, 2015
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We finally have spring-like weather in New York –so I guess we’re going to have to find something else to complain about.  I’ve been celebrating the change with spring bulbs –daffodils, hyacinths, tulips– that are now appearing in flower shops and garden centers around town.  All of these can be cut and arranged, of course, […]

Parent Chats, Part 2

Monday, March 30, 2015
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Recently I sat down to chat with my friends Alison Donnelly and Ereka Vetrini.  We’re all parents of young children, and we enjoyed sharing our thoughts about a few parenting issues. Our first topics were the basics: food, sleep, and talking to your kids about sex.  And then the conversation turned to discipline, what to […]

Porchetta-Inspired Pork Roast

Monday, March 9, 2015
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Last week I was hungry for an old-fashioned roast –something for a cozy, casual family dinner with plenty for leftovers.  A large beef roast, though, is something of a high-stakes undertaking.  To start, it’s a big ticket.  And you need to watch your investment pretty closely as it cooks –get the internal temperature too low, […]

The Bobbie Burns

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
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The “wintry mix” of snow and rain is falling hard outside my window, so it’s time for another kind of wintry mix –a Scotch-based cocktail called the Bobbie Burns.  Scotch whiskey has a following of purists who prefer to drink it “neat,” or maybe with a single cube of ice or a splash of water. […]

Skillet Dinner

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
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The cold here in New York feels bitter and endless.  So it’s time for some comfort food.  Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin are great, but when you’re cold and cranky and need some speedy soothing, this is a great solution.  You can go from the grocery bag to dinner in less than an hour […]

Parent Chats, Part I

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
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Recently I sat down to chat with my friends Alison Donnelly and Ereka Vetrini.  We’re all parents of young children, and we enjoyed sharing our thoughts about a few parenting issues. Our first topics were the basics:  food, sleep, and sex.  Here are three short videos of our conversations.

Sweetheart Gâteau Victoire

Monday, February 9, 2015
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People love chocolate on Valentine’s Day (as if they needed an excuse), and what better way to celebrate the occasion than with a wonderful homemade chocolate cake? Long on the menu at San Francisco’s famous Zuni Cafe, I think this may be my all-time favorite: moist, tender and deeply chocolaty, but not overpoweringly rich or […]

Jam-Filled Heart Cookies

Sunday, February 1, 2015
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David can’t stop eating these cookies.  Julia either.  Both of them like sweets, but they also have remarkable self restraint about eating them.  But not these.  David says they taste like the pop tarts of his dreams.  Instead of pastry, though, the jam filling is surrounded by a tender buttery cookie.  Simple and delicious.  And […]

French Lover: Valentine’s Gifts for Guys

Monday, January 26, 2015
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I hear that men are difficult to buy for, so here are a few suggestions.   Big or small, luxe or basic, the most important thing is to keep it personal.  And a little romantic. Frederic Malle Bois D’Orage.  Called “French Lover” outside of the U.S., this thoroughly masculine fragrance is bold enough to draw […]